KAWARTHA LAKES: Mayor Andy Letham, members of Council and CAO Ron Taylor attended the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s (AMO) 2019 Conference in Ottawa this week. Joining more than 2,000 participants, the local officials met with provincial ministries to discuss challenges in Ontario, and attended presentations. During the Conference, Mayor Letham, as chair of the Eastern Ontario Warden’s Caucus (EOWC), also met with Minister of Health Christine Elliott to discuss public health funding changes in Eastern Ontario and the need for consultation regarding the healthcare portfolio and possibly restructuring governance. A highlight of the AMO Conference was Premier Doug Ford’s commitment to building stronger, local partnerships with municipalities. Premier Ford announced that the Provincial Government will provide municipalities with transitional funding for public health and childcare, an increase in funding for land ambulance services, additional funding for modernizing service delivery and more. “The Provincial Ministers Forum allowed a cross-section of questions to be addressed and was very informative,” said Councillor Tracy Richardson, who attended the Conference. “The entire experience was beneficial as it was an excellent opportunity to witness and meet a lot of dedicated people out there working to improve the well-being of their communities.” The conference included updates on cannabis legalization, recycling and the rise of plastics, affordable housing, rural economic development, changes to the Conservation Authorities Act and more. The information learned and shared in these presentations is integral to the development of the municipality and its service delivery. AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments, including Kawartha Lakes. AMO supports the strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.
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